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Ripon working on transit station for ACE service
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The City of Ripon is hoping to someday have a Multi-Modal Station, especially with the Altamont Corridor Express looks to extend commuter rail service south to Ceres — with stops in downtown Manteca, Ripon and Modesto — by 2023.

The land on Industrial Avenue near downtown was purchased over two years ago for the project. The City obtained $5.9 million of Federal Transit Authority funds for the Preliminary Engineering and Construction phases of the plan.

The Ripon City Council recently entered in to an Interagency Agreement with San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) to perform grant management services for the FTA Grant to complete the Preliminary Engineering for the Ripon Multi-Modal Station.

No discussion was necessary at the Oct. 8 meeting – Councilman Michael Restuccia abstained from this item because he sits on the SJ Regional Transit District Board.

“Due to the stringent requirements of the FTA grant guidelines, staff proposed to enter into an agreement with the RTD to perform grant management services for the Preliminary Engineering portion of the project,” said Elizabeth Quilici in her staff report.

The City’s Associate Civil Engineer continued: “Although FTA funding is available for the Ripon Multi-Modal Project, grant management services are not an eligible expense. RTD’s grant management services will be a cost not to exceed $100,000, which is recommended to be funded using Measure K transit funds.”

The Altamont Corridor from the San Joaquin Valley to the Bay Area is one of the most heavily traveled, most congested, and fastest growing corridors in Northern California.

The Bay Area Council of Governments is estimating that congestion will increase another 75 percent from now through 2040.

“(In order) to achieve state and regional environmental and economic development goals, a robust passenger rail alternative is needed in the Altamont Corridor to alleviate congestion, increase mobility, and provide greater connectivity,” Quilici said.

All of this is part of the Altamont Corridor Vision, which is a partnership consisting of the SJ Regional Rail Commission, Altamont Corridor Express, Tri-Valley-SJ Valley Regional Rail Authority, and the SJ Joint Powers Authority.

The Altamont Corridor Vision will provide safe, frequent, and reliable regional rail service by modernizing passenger rail in the Altamont Corridor.

Future plans call for ACE services extending to Merced at some point after ACE is up and running to Ceres. Service to Merced would allow  connections to California High Speed Rail.

While the Altamont Corridor would be responsible to build the station platform, the City, in turn, would be responsible for all other facilities surrounding the platform (Multi-Modal station). 

This project will consist of the station building, parking lot improvements, bathrooms, ticket booth, waiting areas, connection to platform, perimeter security, right of way improvements, and off and on-site improvements.

The site work involved includes underground utility work, grading and paving, concrete, concrete for sidewalks, curbs and driveways, street paving and resurfacing, intersection improvements, signage, and other miscellaneous site furnishings including shade shelters, irrigation and landscape work, according to Quilici.